As Solar Mission Begins, Chandrayaan-3 Prepares For ‘Sleep Mode’; Know Why

New Delhi: As the ambitious solar mission Aditya-L1 was launched on Saturday, successful lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 was being readied for ‘sleep mode’.

The Vikram lander touched down on the Moon’s south polar region on August 23, following which the Pragyan rover rolled out to conduct various experiments and explorations on lunar surface.

The planned exploration period, spanning one lunar day equivalent to 14 Earth days, will be over in the next few days. Hence, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to initiate a ‘sleep mode’ operation for Vikram lander and Pragyan rover.

Lunar night is approaching, during which temperatures may plummet to below -200 degrees Celsius, said ISRO chief S Somanath.

“The Pragyan rover and Vikram lander are still functional. We are commencing the process of placing both of them into sleep mode in the next one to two days as they need to tolerate the lunar night,” Somanath informed during his congratulatory message on the successful launch of Aditya-L1 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Somanath mentioned that the rover has covered a distance of approximately 100 metres from the lander – 101.4 metres to be precise, as per a picture of Pragyan’s path, shared by ISRO.

ISRO has been sharing data from in situ scientific experiments being conducted by the Chandrayaan-3 mission since the spacecraft made a soft landing on the Moon 10 days ago.

Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA), one of the seven payloads in Chandrayaan-3, recently recorded an event which appears to be a “natural one.” The source of this event is under investigation.

Alpha Particle X-ray Spectroscope (APXS) earlier identified sulphur, along with other minor elements, on lunar terrain.

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